Murray Baker has changed his Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival plans for It’s A Dundeel with the three-year-old Triple Crown winner set to resume in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on September 7.
Baker had originally set the Memsie Stakes (1400m) as the kick-off point for the star colt but now believes that the Makybe Diva will offer him a better progression to his overall goal – the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m).
After running in the Memsie Stakes, It’s A Dundeel will follow the same path to the Cox Plate as last year’s winner Ocean Park who won the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) and Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m) on his way to victory in the Australasian Weight For Age Championship.
Baker is wary about giving It’s A Dundeel too large a campaign as the High Chaparral colt failed to win his last start in his previous two campaigns, finishing seventh behind Fiveandahalfstar in the 2012 Victoria Derby (2500m) at the end of his 2012 Spring Carnival tilt and was upset by Reliable Man in the Queen Elizabeth (2000m) at his start last before a spell.
Despite his surprise loss in the Queen Elizabeth, It’s A Dundeel was still one of the major stars of the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival as he became the first horse since Octagonal in 1995 to win the Australian three-year-old Triple Crown, which is made up of the Randwick Guineas (2000m), Rosehill Guineas (2000m) and Australian Derby (2400m).
History will be against It’s A Dundeel in the Cox Plate as no three-year-old Triple Crown winner has gone on win the Cox Plate as a four-year-old later in the year.